Unlicensed chiropractor in Garland County loses appeal

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a Garland County man’s conviction of practicing chiropractic medicine without a license.

At Garritt Scott Mason’s trial in Garland County Circuit Court, a private investigator testified that he visited Mason at the Alphabiotics Center in Hot Springs, paid $20 and received a chiropractic session from him. Mason, who was not licensed by the Arkansas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, was convicted and fined $5,000.

On appeal, Mason argued that the trial judge violated his due-process rights by not allowing him to present a claim that his constitutional rights of free association, privacy and private contract had been violated and that a state law prohibiting the unlawful practice of chiropractic medicine is unconstitutional.

In its ruling Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals disagreed. The court said Mason, who represented himself at trial and on appeal, first brought up his constitutional claims in proposed jury instructions that he submitted two days before the trial, without having notified prosecutors or the state attorney general of his plans as required.

The appeals court said the judge did not err in granting a motion by the state to exclude the claims, nor would it consider them for the first time on appeal.

Mason also argued that the Hot Springs police detective who arrested him lacked jurisdiction because there was no record to show he had taken the oath of office, as required by the state constitution. The Court of Appeals said it would not consider that argument because it was being raised for the first time on appeal.